Oh, can it get any worse?

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Oh, can it get any worse?

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Category : Family , Stress

Ok, so 2016 has not been a great year.  In fact, it has been a bloody terrible year.  A number of my friends are also saying the same thing.  What happened?  What bad thing did we all do to deserve all this bad ju-ju?

In a nutshell, personally, we have been hit with the milk price to end all milk prices, rain that just won’t bloody stop,  have suffered a number of health related issues including a knee operation for Mark, gastro for the kids, food poisoning for me, and a resistant staph infection for Mark.

Many of you know that I recently had an extremely painful event that was caused by some nerves in my neck.  I had an emergency CT scan done and a follow up MRI which all pointed to some dodgy disc in my neck that seemed to be the cause.  Yesterday I had an appointment with a neurosurgeon in Melbourne who frankly and bluntly told me the truth.  And it is not pretty.  At all.

He told me that I have a disc that has moved out of it’s place and is now trying to crush the life out of my spinal cord.  For those that know anything about vertebrae, it is my c5/6 disc.  Unfortunately, it is already causing some spinal cord issues (nerves and reflexes) and – here is the whopper – if it is not operated on immediately, it is only a matter of time before I become a quadriplegic.

Are you freaking kidding me???!!

Things got very serious very quickly with him going into see the lady that books the surgeries and asking when various other attendants would be available.  He assumed that I had only had the symptoms for 2 or 3 weeks, not the 7 or 8 months (or more!) that I admitted to.  He told me that there was no way that he would allow a 46yo mum of four to become a quadriplegic.  My body is in some sort of hyper state.  It thinks it is in constant pain even though I don’t notice it all that much.  Maybe I’ve put up with the constant pain for so long, I just see it as a norm.

But it’s not, and there might be a fix!  That’s a bit exciting!

So because this is all such a rushed thing now, I will be operated on Monday 17th October.  Yes, just a week and a half from now.  I will be in hospital for 4 days and then pretty much doing nothing for 4 weeks after that, including no driving.  Following that, 4 more weeks of only light movements building up to moderate in the following 4 weeks after that.  In 12 weeks, I should be back to normal.  So long as nothing goes wrong.

And here is the not so exciting bit.  The operation carries it’s own risks over and above normal surgery.  Somewhere between 2 and 3% have complications.  Wait a sec….that’s 2 or 3 people in every 100.  God I hope that he’s operated on 99 people so far this year and already had his 2 or 3 people.  I’m gold in that case!  The complications can range from affecting my vocal cords – which Mark is a little too excited about for my liking – to actually paralysing me or causing quadriplegia which is the very thing we are trying to avoid!  Yikes.  From the sounds of it, it is a little complicated as they go in through the front of my neck and have to traverse my innards (important shit like my vocal cords, carotid artery and spinal cord!) to get to this little piece of gristle that is causing all the problems.  He will take out my disc, give me a new one (hey, I like the sound of that!) and also give me a cage thingy that will keep it in place.  It’s sleek, black and I’ll sort of be like a terminator.  Made up of space age parts.

Wanna see?

What the new disc will look like

What the new disc will look like.  It is actually a cage with either bone fragments in it, or artificial bone.  I think I’m getting artificial bone.  I understand that my own body will deposit bone on this over time and fuse the space together.

The "cage" that will stop the new disc from coming out.

The plate that will stop the new disc (cage) from coming out.

The "cage"

The plate.   Those are some tough looking screws!!!

So, in the meantime, I am trying to organise how the 4 kids will be ferried around for the time I’m out, how the house will run, trying to get it looking like some sort of liveable habitat in case I get home care, how to manage my little swimmers, how I will manage my Stampin’ Up! business, and how we will manage silage with a farm worker down (and me supposed to be filling in).

I know it will all work out, but right now….it just seems a bit overwhelming.  Bear with me if I fall behind in stuff.